Friday, January 28, 2011

Greek Orthodox Church In America Daily Readings For Friday, 28 January

From The Greek Orthodox Arch-Diocese of America:

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Daily Scripture Readings and Lives of the Saints for Friday, January 28, 2011

Strict Fast

Readings for today:

St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 5:22-26; 6:1-2

Luke 6:17-23

Feasts and Saints celebrated today:

Ephraim the Syrian

Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Ninevah

James the Righteous

Palladios the Hermit of Antioch

Epistle Reading

The reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 5:22-26; 6:1-2

Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,

goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no

law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh

with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also

walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one

another, no envy of one another. Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any

trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of

gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's

burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

(C) 2011 Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Gospel Reading

The reading is from Luke 6:17-23

At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of

his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and

Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to

be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with

unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for

power came forth from him and healed them all. And he lifted up his

eyes on His disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is

the Kingdom of God. Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall

be satisfied. Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.

Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile

you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!

Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great

in heaven."

(C) 2011 Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Ephraim the Syrian

Reading from the Synaxarion:

Saint Ephraim was born in Nisibis of Mesopotamia some time about the

year 306, and in his youth was the disciple of Saint James, Bishop of

Nisibis, one of the 318 Fathers at the First Ecumenical Council. Ephraim

lived in Nisibis, practicing a severe ascetical life and increasing in

holiness, until 363, the year in which Julian the Apostate was slain in his

war against the Persians, and his successor Jovian surrendered

Nisibis to them. Ephraim then made his dwelling in Edessa, where he

found many heresies to do battle with. He waged an especial war

against Bardaisan; this gnostic had written many hymns propagating his

errors, which by their sweet melodies became popular and enticed souls

away from the truth. Saint Ephraim, having received from God a

singular gift of eloquence, turned Bardaisan's own weapon against him, and

wrote a multitude of hymns to be chanted by choirs of women, which set

forth the true doctrines, refuted heretical error, and praised the

contests of the Martyrs.

Of the multitude of sermons, commentaries, and hymns that Saint

Ephraim wrote, many were translated into Greek in his own lifetime.

Sozomen says that Ephraim "Surpassed the most approved writers of

Greece," observing that the Greek writings, when translated into other

tongues, lose most of their original beauty, but Ephraim's works "are no

less admired when read in Greek than when read in Syriac" (Eccl.

Hist., Book 111, 16). Saint Ephraim was ordained deacon, some say by

Saint Basil the Great, whom Sozomen said "was a great admirer of

Ephraim, and was astonished at his erudition." Saint Ephraim was the

first to make the poetic expression of hymnody and song a vehicle of

Orthodox theological teachings, constituting it an integral part of the

Church's worship; he may rightly be called the first and greatest

hymnographer of the Church, who set the pattern for these who followed him,

especially Saint Romanos the Melodist. Because of this he is called the

"Harp of the Holy Spirit." Jerome says that his writings were read in

some churches after the reading of the Scriptures, and adds that once

he read a Greek translation of one of Ephraim's works, "and

recognized, even in translation, the incisive power of his lofty genius" (De

vir. ill., ch. CXV).

Shortly before the end of his life, a famine broke out in Edessa, and

Saint Ephraim left his cell to rebuke the rich for not sharing their

goods with the poor. The rich answered that they knew no one to whom

they could entrust their goods. Ephraim asked them, "What do you

think of me?" When they confessed their reverence for him, he offered

to distribute their alms, to which they agreed. He himself cared

with his own hands for many of the sick from the famine, and so

crowned his life with mercy and love for neighbor. Saint Ephraim reposed

in peace, according to some in the year 373, according to others,


Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert

fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have

borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light,

shining upon the world. O Ephraim, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our

God, to save our souls.

Kontakion in the Second Tone

At all times didst thou foresee the hour of reckoning, and pricked

in thy heart, thou ever didst lament with tears; and, O righteous

Ephraim, thou wast a mighty teacher in works and deeds. Hence, O Father

for all the world, thou didst rouse the slothful unto change of


Reading courtesy of Holy Transfiguration Monastery

Apolytikion courtesy of Narthex Press

Kontakion courtesy of Holy Transfiguration Monastery

Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Ninevah

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the First Tone

He that thundered on Sinai with saving laws for man hath also given

thy writings as guides in prayer unto monks, O revealer of

unfathomable mysteries; for having gone up in the mount of the vision of the

Lord, thou wast shown the many mansions. Wherefore, O God-bearing

Isaac, entreat the Saviour for all praising thee.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

As an ascetic and God-bearer great in righteousness and an

instructor of monastics do we honour thee, thou revealer of things sacred,

and our protector. But, O Isaac, since thou hast great boldness with

the Lord, intercede with Him for all of us who sing thy praise and

who cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father most wise in God.

Apolytikion courtesy of Holy Transfiguration Monastery

Kontakion courtesy of Holy Transfiguration Monastery

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